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Hope Boonshaft

Not many people can say they have worked for a president of the United States, can speak Mandarin and played a huge role for Sony pictures internationally, but 1970 Penn State graduate, Hope Boonshaft can and that is not even half of what she has accomplished in life.

Hope is a native of Philadelphia and took several courses at Penn State Abington/Ogontz in the summer. She was able to graduate in 3boonshaftpicsm years from Penn State as part of a program to enter law school in her fourth year, she then graduated from Delaware Law School. After which she has led quite a fulfilling life.

Hope currently works as the Executive Managing Director at Carmen Group West based in Los Angeles California. The company provides business and government consulting services including media and corporate communications, federal, state and local government relations, public and community affairs, and crisis/issues management primarily for clients in the entertainment and technology industries.

Prior to the Carmen Group, Hope has had experiences far and wide. Early in her career she worked in the White House, serving as Jimmy Carter’s Director of Community Relations. She also spent 10 years at Sony Pictures as Executive Vice President of Worldwide External Affairs. She specializes in crisis management and was instrumental in working with the Chinese government to allow Sony to once again do business with China, after they were thrown out due to the release of the film, “Seven Years in Tibet”.

She believes that giving back to your community by doing something that you are passionate about is extremely important. Hope spends time giving back through the Young Eisner Scholars, a non-profit that works in underserved neighborhoods to level the educational playing field for intellectually promising children, building leadership for a brighter America. She is also actively involved in several other non-profit groups including Children of the Night, Habitat for Humanity, The Carter Center, Make a Wish Foundation, and City of Hope.

Between giving back and her career, Hope feels she leads a very rewarding life. Her advice to new graduates is to try and go for where your skill sets and your passion lie. It is important to know what your strong points are and then get out there and find a job that is the best fit. Make sure you know that there is always something to learn and go through life wanting to learn more and it will put you ahead. Se also says meet as many people as you can, find something stimulating and challenge yourself, it is a much healthier way to go through life.

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2 Responses »

  1. Such a fantastic woman! We are so proud of our alums!

    • Yes, Annie, a very interesting experience. My 1st two years back in Washington from serving as a US Foreign Service peacekeeper in Sinai spanned a large slice of the last 2 years of the Carter Administration (Sept. 1979-Jan. 1981), unfortunately during that Administration’s efforts to cope with the agonizing US hostage crisis in Iran (as well as the failed hostage rescue effort in April 1980). During that period I headed the 6-day per week State/INR Arab-Israeli Situation Report Team–a report that went to the White House, from which we would receive occasional requests for more analysis from the Oval Office or the NSC. I also served simultaneously as Iraq Intelligence Analyst, which of course brought me close to the Iran situation (especially after the stunning beginning of the Iraq-Iran War in Sept. 1980). I was over at the White House only once for the formal ceremonies for a foreign prime minister. Additionally, at the request of the White House & Carter Sec. of State Vance, I briefed the visiting Australian Prime Minister on the early stages of the Iraq-Iran War over at the State Dept. Very interesting times…

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